When Was Gasoline Invented?

gasoline-invented Credit: Ernesto Burciaga/Photolibrary/Getty Images

The patent for the process to make what people now know as gasoline was filed in 1913. The forerunner of gasoline was around in the 1800s before the invention of the internal combustion engine, but it was only known as a useless by-product of the process used to make kerosene for oil lamps.

When the first internal combustion engine vehicles, or horseless carriages, began appearing in the early 1900s, two chemical engineers at Standard Oil in Indiana came up with the gasoline refining process that was able to meet the demand for the new vehicles' fuel needs. The process invented and patented by William Burton and Robert Humphreys in 1913 became known as thermal cracking and doubled the efficiency of the previous refining process.